The Wise Anagami Upasaka
[Translated from the Pali by Daw Mya Tin,MA]
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (51) and (52) of this book, with reference to the lay disciple Chattapani and the two queens of King Pasenadi of Kosala.
A lay disciple named Chattapani who was an anagami* lived in Savatthi. On one occasion, Chattapani was with the Buddha at the Jetavana monastery respectfully and attentively listening to a religious discourse, when King Pasenadi also came to the Buddha. Chattapani did not stand up because he thought that by standing up, it might mean that he was paying respect to the king, but not paying due respect to the Buddha. The king took that as an insult and was very much offended. The Buddha knew exactly how the king was feeling; so he spoke in praise of Chattapani, who was well-versed in the Dhamma and had also attained the Anagami Fruition. On hearing this, the king was impressed and favourably inclined towards Chattapani.
When the king next met Chattapani he said, "You are so learned; could you please come to the palace and give lessons of the Dhamma to my two queens?" Chattapani declined but he suggested that the king should request the Buddha to assign a bhikkhu for this purpose. So, the king approached the Buddha in connection with this, and the Buddha directed the Venerable Ananda to go regularly to the palace and teach the Dhamma to Queen Mallika and Queen Vasabhakhattiya. After some time, the Buddha asked the Venerable Ananda about the progress of the two queens. The Venerable Ananda answered that although Mallika was learning the Dhamma seriously, Vasabhakhattiya was not paying proper attention. On hearing this the Buddha said that the Dhamma could be of benefit only to those who learn it seriously with due respect and proper attention and then practise diligently what was taught.
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
Verse 51: Just as a beautiful flower, lacking in scent, cannot give the wearer the benefit of its scent, so also, the well-preached words of the Buddha cannot benefit one who does not practise the Dhamma.
Verse 52: Just as a flower, beautiful as well as fragrant, will give the wearer the benefit of its scent, so also, the well-preached words of the Buddha will benefit one who practises the Dhamma.
*Anagami: one who has attained the third Magga.
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